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  • Kopi Luwak "Civet Coffee"

    Has anyone tried this coffee?

    My brother has just got back from Malaysia and has told me he has bought me some as a gift.

    I am curious what to expect.

    themurphs

  • #2
    If he bought back green coffee then expect "Border Security" and DAFF (formally AQIS / Customs) to kick your door in followed by a TV crew as green Kopi Luwak is still illegal in Australia.

    If it was roasted then you are allowed to bring back less than a kilo and I would expect:

    An unknown roast date.
    Pre ground
    Maybe robusta
    Low acidity
    and hopefully not from a caged Luwak

    Finding "real" Kopi Luwak is pretty hard, most of it is either fake or from cage fed critters.

    I would suggest roasting-up some of that Sumatran next week and doing a blind taste test of the two coffees side by side. I bet I know which one is better.

    Upside is that you will be able to say you have tried it and will know you don't need to ever again and hey... it was nice that your brother thought of you while on holiday too

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Andy,

      He is back home in Queensland now, so i don't think it is green,
      I read that there is a black market in critter pellets and hopefully he hasn't bought from caged animals, ( Is there any way of knowing?).

      Your suggestion of a blind taste is a good idea, at least i won't know which one came out of a butt until i taste it.

      Cheers

      Comment


      • #4
        This seemed like a pretty fair summary. Sprudge.com: Just Say No To Kopi Luwak » Sprudge.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, that is a good summary.

          I've been given it a few times at different coffee events and at least twice it was the "real deal", often anything roasted in Indo is called Kopi Luwak as once westerners start paying $1000/kg there is fair incentive to call every roasted bean that so you might get lucky and find it didnt come from a critters backside!

          The real stuff was smooth, good bodied with low acidity.... but the beans might have been like that from the tree so I have no real way of judging without a side-by-side comparison.

          We have joked in the past about doing some Aussie Labrador coffee, they will eat anything, don't need to be kept in a cage and at $1000/kg I would happily export it to the weirdo's that "need" to try the next big thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Both out little dogs seem to eat things they shouldn't including the odd bean however I have to say i'm not interested in sifting through there land minds in the backyard to find these potential golden nuggets. As tempting as it is for $1000/kg i don't have enough rubber gloves or pegs for my nose

            Chris

            Comment


            • #7
              I had some in Indonesia...

              Given that they didn't put much thought into the roasting and preparation (i.e pan fried till crisp, smashed and steeped in hot water), I actually found it pretty pleasant. Nice rounded body, low acidity, with ?hints of mango and melons. It pretty easy to drink overall, but wasn't particularly amazing - however, it did make me wonder what it would be like if it was prepared properly. Unfortunately they didn't sell the green bean version.

              Overall: nice, but nothing special (as most of these "exotic" coffees are)

              Comment


              • #8
                It is available from the "Corner Store" Scotchmer Street, North Fitzroy (Victoria). $10 per shot and I think they sell beans. I have not tried it yet, not sure about the ethics.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi all

                  Look at the ethics this way .... if anyone in Indonesia or elsewhere sells it, and even if their civet cats get Whiskers Premium and a nice mouse every night and aren't forced to eat the beans, your still creating a market for animal cruelty. For every nice guy that treats his animals well there will be 10 that will cage and force feed them. It's cheaper, the customer can't tell the difference and there is no enforcement of any animal welfare that would pass muster here in Australia.

                  I think that consumers should not buy the product. Its not like its truffles or top Belgium chocolate or a Grange 66, where you could justify a little bit of exploitation and cruely :-). Kopi Luwak isn't orders or magnitude better than a perfectly roasted sumatran (as Andy suggested trying). Even if its a bit better that does not justify it.

                  Would be nice to see consumers turning away from Kopi Luwak like sharks fin soup or pate from force fed ducks.

                  Mike

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by speleomike View Post
                    Hi all

                    Look at the ethics this way .... if anyone in Indonesia or elsewhere sells it, and even if their civet cats get Whiskers Premium and a nice mouse every night and aren't forced to eat the beans, your still creating a market for animal cruelty. For every nice guy that treats his animals well there will be 10 that will cage and force feed them. It's cheaper, the customer can't tell the difference and there is no enforcement of any animal welfare that would pass muster here in Australia.

                    I think that consumers should not buy the product. Its not like its truffles or top Belgium chocolate or a Grange 66, where you could justify a little bit of exploitation and cruely :-). Kopi Luwak isn't orders or magnitude better than a perfectly roasted sumatran (as Andy suggested trying). Even if its a bit better that does not justify it.

                    Would be nice to see consumers turning away from Kopi Luwak like sharks fin soup or pate from force fed ducks.

                    Mike


                    Mike- I've been to a Luwak Coffee farm in Indonesia and the cats looked a lot happier and in a much bigger enclosure than your average battery hen in Australia. That said, the coffee itself was nothing to write home about and would not hold it's own next to Biftu Gesha or other SOs of that ilk.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Gaviscon

                      Nice that you have actually been there and seen how some operate. I can only reply on media reports and internet. Why do the cats eat the beans? Are they coated with something the cats like or do they just mix them with the cat food? Or are the cats "encouraged" to eat them beans?

                      Mike

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Mike...They ain't cats and don't eat mice but ingest the coffee cherry for the cherry flesh, not the seed.

                        Force fed? The caged ones are given a diet of coffee cherries... eat or starve.

                        I wouldn't go near the stuff..... there is so much great coffee to try without the 'novelty' factor of what is

                        actually suffering animals.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes chokki, they dont really look like cats either, different mammal.
                          Look more like a marmot or a mongoose thing.
                          I should stop calling them "civet cats"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by speleomike View Post
                            Hi Gaviscon

                            Nice that you have actually been there and seen how some operate. I can only reply on media reports and internet. Why do the cats eat the beans? Are they coated with something the cats like or do they just mix them with the cat food? Or are the cats "encouraged" to eat them beans?

                            Mike

                            Mike- I can only go by the one farm that I went to. They had bowls in their cages which had what appeared to be savoury rice in them. The owner gave us some coffee cherries to feed them and when we approached the cage they started to sniff and came over and took the cherries from our hand through the cage- clearly they loved them. As far as animal cruelty goes, how does it compare to the thousands of aquarium owners we have in Australia? Aquarium fish are typically fed one type of food only their whole life and I don't see anyone up in arms over it.

                            Having said all that, the coffee itself did not taste good so I wouldn't be drinking it again.

                            PS- I have three aquariums, and no they aren't "cats" per se- looks like the outcome of a Tassie Devil's naughty weekend away with a mongoose

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just came back from Bali a couple of weeks ago, and finished off a packet which I bought from a plantation. As far as animal cruelty, it wasn't bad but it wasn't great. The civet was in a big enclosure (not a cage) and after hanging around the place for a day (it was quite small), they seem to treat it well, although I'm not a fan of taking animals from the wild.
                              Re the coffee - for those who've had it in indonesia, it's not much to write home about because of their lack of knowledge on preparing coffee (even on basics like brewing). When I had it in indonesia, I really didn't like it, but I was adamant about the fuss so I bought some home.
                              After making them into espresso on my own machines, it actually tastes a LOT better - although not brilliant. To me, it tasted similar to better than average robusta (and this is purely personal preference, as I don't even like decent robusta). Others here might think otherwise.
                              Point of the post is, I suggest those who try it overseas should bring it home, and see if you can make it "better". Customs is fine as long as it's not large volume and you declare it.

                              Comment

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